New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling in the cavalry as local police continue the investigation of hate-filled graffiti at Scarsdale High School.
Cuomo announced that the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force will join the investigation after symbols of hate were found carved and drawn inside bathrooms at the high school.
A swastika was found carved into a toilet-paper dispenser on Thursday, Sept. 12, and offensive graffiti was found last week that included “hate speech against different groups of people,” Scarsdale High School Principal Kenneth Bonamo said.
"I am disgusted by the hate-filled graffiti found at Scarsdale High School for the second time this month,” Cuomo said in a statement. “In New York, we have absolutely zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and bigotry of any kind, and I am directing the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist school officials and local law enforcement in their investigation to ensure those responsible are held accountable.
“We have been crystal clear that hateful acts — whether they be in the form of graffiti or violence — are completely unacceptable, and we will continue to call them out whenever and wherever we see them."
The investigation into both incidents is ongoing. Anyone with information has been asked to contact Bonamo directly at the high school.
“If even one member of our community feels unwelcome or distressed by this incident, that is one person too many,” Bonamo said after the first incident. “All students, families, and staff members must feel equally included and respected by each of us. Hate speech and scare tactics will not be tolerated and do not represent what we stand for. “
Cuomo also said that he is directing state police to increase security near synagogues and other religious centers during the Jewish high holidays.
"As members of the Jewish community prepare to celebrate Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, out of an abundance of caution and following a number of appalling anti-Semitic incidents over the past year, I am directing the state police to increase patrols at synagogues and other religious centers across our state," the governor said.
"We will not allow the cowards who contributed to the recent rash of hateful acts against the Jewish community and other groups to intimidate or divide us," he said, and I want to assure our Jewish brothers and sisters that New York stands united with them now and always."
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